When becoming a new parent there are millions of ads and recommendations for what products to buy. Here is my short list of products I can’t go a day without using.
My Brest Friend
This is a breast feeding pillow that rocks my world. When Adelaide and I were learning how to breast feed/eat the last thing I needed to do was waste a perfectly good hand supporting her weight for the duration of a feeding. I needed every phalange available to get her head, hands and body in the right place at the right time, and this pillow made that possible.
There are several breast feeding pillows on the market, but this one was my favorite because it clips around your waist and won’t move during the feeding. Now that Adelaide and I are old pros and the feeding thing we don’t need use the pillow at every feeding, but I still get it out regularly because it gives my arms and shoulders a break. Awesome, awesome, awesome product that I recommend for every new mom.
The sleep sheep is a white noise machine inside a cute plush sheep. White noise is an amazing tool for parents of newborns and while there are plenty of things around your house that supply this calming trigger (hair dryer, clothes dryer, bathroom fan, dishwasher, shower, window ac unit, static radio station, etc.) the Sleep Sheep provides this noise anywhere you need and it doesn’t waste energy.
Our swing is about the only place we can put Adelaide down where she’ll continue to sleep for several hours during the day. I particularly love the pod-like design and the side to side swinging of the one we have. We had to modify the seat for her tiny infant size by adding padding to the seat area to make it more shallow. Now that she doesn’t fold in half when she’s in it, she loves it! And as a result, I do too.
Babies are each unique and ours HAS to suck on something when she’s upset. In an effort to preserve our pinky fingers we turned to pacifiers. After trying several different kinds, The First Years Soothies were the clear winners. They’re the only ones she’ll take! And because they saved us from having to amputate our fifth fingers they make this list of products I can’t live without.
Medela Swing Breast Pump
Every breast feeding mom needs a breast pump. So I guess this shouldn’t be about the specific one I use, because really it’s just the pump itself that I can’t live without. A breast pump does two major things; first it saves me from painful engorgement when Adelaide decides to continue sleeping instead of eat, and second it gives me the much needed freedom to be able to leave Adelaide for more than two hours. I literally would go insane if I didn’t have the freedom to run a few errands by myself. My frozen milk supply has come in useful on more than one occasion. Most recently when Adelaide had a particularly cranky night and kept me up until 7AM. Matt was an unbelievable sweetheart and volunteered to take all of her feedings the next night, and I ended up getting a full 9 hours of much needed sleep. Without a breast pump that would not have been possible. My quality of life depends on that breast pump. Wow…that’s kind of scary when I boil it down like that.
Happiest Baby On The Block/Swaddling Blankets
I borrowed the DVD The Happiest Baby On the Block from our local library on a recommendation from the ladies on the PregTASTIC podcast. After watching it, I’ve decided that it should be a required part of newborn care classes. We watched it after having Adelaide for two weeks (and I definitely recommend watching it after you’ve had the baby home for a little while. It will be so much more relevant) and the techniques have saved us from many a melt-down. The best tool from this DVD is definitely swaddling. We did it for a little while, then stopped, then started again and it makes a WORLD of difference. She is able to sleep when she is swaddled…she really won’t sleep for very long otherwise. The key to the swaddle is a LARGE blanket. We had these cute receiving blankets made by Gerber, but they just weren’t big enough. Matt’s mom bought us a package of blankets to use as “sheets” for our co-sleeper and these turned out to the the perfect size for swaddling. Literally they are huge. So find the biggest blankets you can!
Last but not least, my favorite gift from Matt…a remote controlled dimmer switch for our bedroom lights. Adelaide has a co-sleeper crib in our bedroom that is attached to our bed, which makes night-time feedings very convenient. What wasn’t convenient was getting out of bed to walk over to the light switch to turn on full-bright lights at 3AM. The solution: install a remote controlled dimmer switch. I swear I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Not only can I turn the lights on and off from across the room, but I also have a pre-programmed dim level so that at 3AM when I wake up to feed Adelaide I just have to push one button on the remote and I get the perfect amount of light—light enough to feed, not so light that it wakes Matt up. It is awesome and by far my favorite “new mom” product.